At a campaign rally in Beaufort, South Carolina early Tuesday evening, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump blasted President Obama’s statement earlier in the day that he “continues to believe Donald Trump will not be president.”
Event moderator Van Hipp, a former Republican Party Chairman in South Carolina, began by asking Trump to respond to Obama’s statement that he “continues to believe Donald Trump will not be president” because the job is hard work, unlike “hosting a reality television show.”
“He has done such a lousy job as president,” Trump punched back at Obama’s statement from earlier Tuesday.
“You look at our budgets,” Trump said, noting we have a $19 trillion national debt.
“We can’t beat ISIS,” Trump added.
“Obamacare is terrible… our borders are like swiss cheese.”
“He has set us back so far [that] for him to say that is a great compliment,” Trump concluded.
Trump noted that when one of the networks asked him to comment on President Obama’s statement, he had a clear message for him:
“You’re lucky I didn’t run last time when Romney ran, because you would have been a one-term president,” Trump told Obama via the networks.
Trump also told Hipp that “The World Trade Center would still be standing” if he had been president in 1998 rather than Bill Clinton.
Trump said he knew Osama bin Laden and radical Islam were trouble, even then.
“I would have done something about it,” Trump said.
Trump’s remarks were delivered four days before Saturday’s all-important South Carolina GOP primary in a different setting than his normal campaign rallies.
Instead of Trump standing alone at a lectern, delivering a one hour talk to thousands of supporters standing in a large coliseum, Trump and moderator Hipp sat in two chairs separated by a coffee table.
The audience sat in theater seats in the Beaufort High School Performing Arts Center.
Uncharacteristically for the Trump campaign, the event began 25 minutes after the scheduled 6 pm start time.
A local Trump campaign coordinator explained to the crowd that Trump was delayed because “the cars were lined up on [the] bridge” trying to get to the Trump event. That’s why, she said, “It took him so long to get here.”
She said the evening’s event was “the largest crowd in the history of Beaufort High School Performing Arts Center.”
Trump also blasted the Obama administration’s treatement of veterans.
“Nobody has been treated with less respect than our veterans,” Trump said.
“I’ve got some of the best people in the world who are talking to me already about running it [the Veterans Administration]” to fix the current poor level of care provided to veterans.
In addition, Trump criticized the Obama administration’s policy of substituting “containment” for victory.
“We have such talent [in our military] that it’s amazing, but we’re not using our talent. We’re not using the generals, we’re running it all through the White House,” Trump said.
In a Trump administration, the generals will make the decisions to attack in the field.
He also ripped the Obama administration and the State Department for preventing Jordan’s King Abdullah, along with other moderate Muslim leaders in the Middle East, from launching aggressive attacks on ISIS targets in the Middle East.
Trump also blasted the Obama administration’s Middle East policy.
“Now that the Middle East is destablized, you have the migration [into Europe],” he said.
“It’s a disaster over there,” he noted, adding that “We should build a safe zone in Syria.”
Trump also criticized the governors for failing to fight back against the resettlement of refugees in their states by the State Department and the Obama administration.
“I don’t like what the governors are doing. They act like they have no power,” he said.
Under a Trump administration, he promised, these refugee resettlements will end.
“We cannot let this happen. We cannot let these people come in under any circumstances,” he concluded.
“We’re angry at the stupidity of the way our country is being run,” Trump added.
He concluded the evening by asking his supporters in the audience to vote for him on Saturday in the South Carolina GOP presidential primary.
“I’m a common sense conservative. We have to be common sense conservatives. We have to be smart,” he told the crowd.
“There is a movement going on out there that’s unbelievable. It’s common sense, and business, and heart,” he added.
“In two years, hopefully, you’ll all remember this. We’re going to win again as a country. You’re going to be proud of your country again,” Trump concluded, as the audience rose in a standing ovation.